Projects & Impact

AHP has built its business on applying best practices, many of which we have helped to shape, and real-world, hands-on knowledge to improving systems and business practices for our clients.

In all of the work that we do, we are guided by our mission to improve health and human services systems of care and business operations to help organizations and individuals reach their full potential.

Search Projects by Category

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BHbusiness Plus

BHbusiness Plus is funded through a contract with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). It offers customized, virtual technical assistance and training to behavioral health executives at no cost to participants. The goal is to help behavioral health providers identify and implement customized change projects that expand their service capacity, harness new payer sources, and thrive in the changing health care environment. The program empowers participating organizations to actually make quantifiable changes, rather than just learning how to do so. It links participants into specific learning networks that focus on a specific topic of interest and provides opportunities for networking and peer support. Everyone in a learning network receives hands-on expertise and guidance to initiate, continue, and complete business operations changes.
 
Participants benefit from the following supports:
 
  • focused technical assistance that meets each organization’s business needs;
  • guidance from a dedicated coach that helps participants develop a customized change project;
  • access to a peer group of like-minded providers that empowers organizations to learn from combined experiences to grow their businesses;
  • consultation from leading subject matter experts in the field; and
  • resources designed to be meaningful to learners, providing practical action steps to meet individual challenges.
 
Related resources and publications:
 

Jail Diversion and Trauma Recovery Cross-Site Evaluation

For this project funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), AHP designed and implemented a six-year process and outcome evaluation of 13 grantees, mounting innovative, multilevel state and pilot programs that provided trauma-informed services and supports to veterans involved in the criminal justice system. The goal of the evaluation was to document the implementation of state and local pilot activities by grantees and understand the impact of the pilot program services on client outcomes, in particular behavioral health and recidivism. The key sources of data for the process evaluation include the bi-annual collection of standardized semi-structured reports and two face-to-face site visits. The key sources of data for the client outcomes evaluation include longitudinal in-person interviews and data collected through secondary sources on arrests and services at all 13 sites.

Related resources and publications:
 

  • Stainbrook, K., Hartwell, S., & James, A. (2015). Female Veterans in Jail Diversion Programs: Differences From and Similarities to Their Male Peers. Psychiatric Services. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1176/appi.ps.201400442.
  • Stainbrook, K., Penney, D., & Elwyn, L. (2015). The Opportunities and Challenges of Multi-Site Evaluations: Lessons from the Jail Diversion and Trauma Recovery National Cross-Site Evaluation. Evaluation and Program Planning, 50, 26-35. Retrieved from www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0149718915000075.

National Center for Trauma-Informed Care and Alternatives to Restraint and Seclusion (NCTIC)

AHP is a subcontractor to SAMHSA’s National Center for Trauma-Informed Care and Alternatives to Restraint & Seclusion (NCTIC). A diverse team of staff and consultants, many of them trauma survivors and nationally recognized leaders, provide technical assistance (TA) and participate in developing products and materials under this contract. The National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) is the prime contractor for NCTIC.
 
NCTIC supports SAMHSA’s commitment to provide information, technical assistance, and support to increase awareness about the impact of trauma on people with mental health or substance use disorders, as well as people served by public health, education, and corrections systems.
 
A key focus of this work has been to promote alternatives to seclusion, restraint, and other coercive interventions to minimize the likelihood of re-traumatization. The use of trauma-informed approaches has therefore been incorporated into a broad range of service systems, with input from trauma survivors’ perspectives in all aspects of the contract. NCTIC is guided by the fundamental beliefs that people with personal experiences of trauma can and do recover and heal; Trauma-Informed Care is the hallmark of effective programs to promote recovery and healing through support from peers, consumers, survivors, ex-patients, and recovering persons and mentoring by providers; and leadership teams of peers and providers charting the course for the implementation of Trauma-Informed Care are essential.
  
The project has made major strides in addressing SAMHSA’s Trauma and Justice Strategic Initiative goals of creating capacity and systems change in the behavioral health and justice systems; implementing and studying trauma-informed approaches throughout health, behavioral health, and related systems; and reducing the impact of disasters on the behavioral health of individuals, families, and communities.
 
Major accomplishments of the project have included the administration of more than 130 technical assistance events in one year, reaching approximately 10,000 individuals between on-site events, webinars, virtual learning networks (VLNs), and consultation. This project was able to leverage funds with multiple organizations willing to help cover costs for presenting training and technical assistance, which resulted in our ability to present so many events, thereby increasing NCTIC’s visibility and shifting thinking in the field.
 
Specialized TA was provided in Baltimore, MD, to stakeholders from 76 different agencies following major unrest in that city after a teen died while in police custody. In addition, a training curriculum, Trauma-Informed Approach: Key Assumptions and Principles, has been developed to provide a framework for understanding trauma and its impact and prevalence, along with the key principles and implementation areas for trauma-informed approaches; and a General Adult Trauma Screening and Brief Response (GATSBR) toolkit is in development to facilitate screening for trauma in primary care.
 
Related resources and publications:

National Drugged Driving Reporting System (DDRS)

AHP, in collaboration with Carnevale Associates, received both Phase I and II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contracts from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to develop and support the National Drugged Driving Reporting System (DDRS). The project was initiated because current enforcement approaches—developed originally to reduce drunk driving—are not adequate for dealing with the problem of drugged driving. In addition, there is not enough data collected about drugged driving at the local, state, or national level to inform policy and programs fully.  
 
The DDRS team worked with an expert panel of nationally recognized researchers to agree upon a National Minimum Data Set (NMDS) on Drugged Driving to meet the government’s need for data and to understand the magnitude of the problem of drugged driving, as well as identify possible public health prevention strategies. Based on this work, AHP designed the Drugged Driving Survey, an anonymous online survey designed to collect data elements outlined in the NMDS.
 
The DDRS team is partnering with up to three states to collect data on drugged driving. Each state recruits participants through their state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The DDRS team assists with implementation of data collection strategies. After the field test with the initial three states, data collection will expand into other states. 

Related resources and publications:

National Veterans Technical Assistance Center (NVTAC)

The National Veterans Technical Assistance Center (NVTAC) was a partnership among AHP, the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Veterans Employment and Training Services. Led by AHP and funded under a cooperative agreement for four years, the NVTAC supported the mission of the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP) and its stakeholders. We assembled a cadre of experts knowledgeable about veteran homelessness, workforce development, and adult learning that included veterans committed to helping their service member colleagues.

We tapped the experience of practitioners in the field by facilitating peer-to-peer learning in our national virtual learning community; spotlighting individual grantees and their staff to inform the field and through regional face-to-face events. AHP worked with grantees and convened experts to establish 10 best-practice elements showcased on the NVTAC website and supported implementation through webinars and training.
 
Our work was responsive to our client’s needs. When Hurricane Harvey hit the Gulf Coast, we reached out to grantees with resources and established a go-to website for community recovery. When direct service staff needed to build their skills, but grantee organizations could not afford to send staff to training sites, we developed online, instructor-led courses. As more communities wanted to host veteran stand-down events and DOL sought to support these, AHP prepared materials and a website to ease the challenge of organizing an event.
 
We measured learning impacts. Following training, we not only asked if participants were satisfied, we also asked about what they learned and if their participation led to changes in their behavior, practice, or policy.
 
Through NVTAC, AHP quickly became the go-to source for a broad range of technical assistance, training, and policy advice on veterans’ homelessness programs and issues to existing and potential audiences. This has been done through:

  • developing, conducting, and documenting extensive outreach efforts to national, state, and local employers to increase their awareness of HVRP, HFVVWF, IVTP, and SD in order to increase employment and training opportunities for veterans experiencing or at risk of homelessness;
  • identifying, extracting, documenting, and sharing best practices or other case-study-oriented overviews, as defined and directed by VETS;
  • assisting VETS leadership by suggesting and conducting research and program improvement-based studies, as ultimately defined and directed by VETS; and 
  • providing consulting to an external national evaluation of the HVRP.
Among the major accomplishments in this project, AHP developed remote service-informed technical assistance and research-driven virtual training to grantees in settings ranging from urban to rural across the nation, serving women veterans, incarcerated veterans, veterans in families, Native American veterans, and single male veterans. Training topics included improving employment outcomes to justice-involved veterans, approaches to job-driven training, and meeting the needs of veterans with behavioral health and other challenges. In addition, NVTAC has provided onsite grantee-specific assistance to improve program operations, integrate use of best practices, and achieve desired outcomes in the Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, and San Francisco regions. NVTAC developed a number of electronic and print materials, including brief video interviews with experienced grantees, briefing papers, research results, website updates, and a self-paced elearning course on job retention for veterans.
 
Related resources and publications:

Recovery to Practice

From 2014 to 2018, under a contract with SAMHSA, AHP led the Recovery to Practice (RTP) workforce initiative to expand and integrate recovery-oriented care delivered by behavioral health providers across systems and service settings. The purpose of the RTP project was to help SAMHSA promote and support person-centered, recovery-oriented principles and practices as integral to multidisciplinary treatment and services for people diagnosed with serious mental illnesses and/or substance use disorders.  

 

Primarily a workforce development project, RTP helped improve and supplement the skills and competence of practitioners across disciplines—including physicians and other medical personnel, therapists and social workers, and peer specialists and those who provide support services. Through RTP, SAMHSA built a comprehensive suite of online educational resources for understanding, providing, and improving recovery-oriented services. 

 

RTP addressed applications and recovery-oriented practices within multidisciplinary services and integrated settings. As part of the contract, the RTP team

 
  • Redeveloped and expanded SAMHSA’s RTP website
  • Created quarterly newsletters and other resources
  • Provided technical assistance and educational events to help promote and support recovery-oriented approaches in integrated and multidisciplinary settings
  • Created new training modules on interdisciplinary service approaches and homelessness
  • Developed decision support resources for clinicians 

AHP hosted a series of 48 multifaceted, multidisciplinary, far-reaching education programs consisting of continuing education unit (CEU)–approved webinars and a resource-rich companion newsletter on a variety of recovery-oriented topics, including homelessness and housing instability, engagement, recovery-oriented approaches to medication, and recovery-oriented cognitive therapy (CT-R). Participants gave these webinars an overall effectiveness rating of 98 percent. 

 

In addition to webinars, AHP created two SAMHSA-approved multi-module virtual learning courses: Integrated Practice in Primary and Behavioral Health, and Information for Peer Specialists Working with People Experiencing Homelessness.  

 

AHP also completed a robust set of CEU-carrying clinical decision support materials for physicians and other practitioners. The virtual courses blended evidence-based medicine with a recovery orientation and focused on recovery-oriented prescribing practices, co-occurring disorders, and clozapine. Mindful of the needs of this professional audience, AHP developed six podcasts that focused on complex clinical considerations around psychotropic medication, including recovery-oriented approaches to prescribing, choosing the right medication at the right time, prescribing multiple medications, treating pregnant women, the intersection of serious mental illness and chronic pain, and prescribing long-acting injectable medications. 


Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) Aftercare Study

AHP has been awarded a grant by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) to conduct a study of the treatment and aftercare services provided under the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) Program. The goal of the RSAT Study is to provide NIJ with programmatic knowledge about BJA RSAT-funded treatment and aftercare services. Using a mixed methods design, the study will focus on describing the range and types of substance use treatment, re-entry/release planning activities, and related aftercare services that are provided to offenders through the BJA RSAT program. In particular, the evaluation seeks to identify the application and penetration of evidence-based principles and practices in facilities (jail, prison, juvenile detention) and post-facility with RSAT funds.  

SAMHSA’s Homeless and Housing Resource Network

SAMHSA contracted with AHP to provide training and technical assistance (TA) on housing and homelessness to SAMHSA Homeless Program Branch (HPB) grantees and other homelessness housing and service providers operating across the United States and U.S. territories. Housing and service programs are united by a vision of ending homelessness by supporting individuals through a process of change as they improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential. 

The goals of this project include the following: 
 

  • Promoting the adoption of best practices for serving people who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of becoming homeless and have chronic mental illness or co-occurring disorders; 

  • Increasing workforce capacity through TA and training;
  • Disseminating information to the homelessness services field in support of SAMHSA’s strategic initiatives;
  • Collaborating with other agencies and organizations to improve the coordination of SAMHSA activities focused on addressing homelessness and building effective partnerships; and
  • Measuring meaningful change.

The HHRN TA team is led by AHP and includes partners HomeBase, Policy Research Associates (PRA), JBS International, the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD), and Abt Associates.  

Through AHP's team, HHRN provides assistance to the public and to HPB grantees, which includes PATH, Cooperative Agreements to Benefit Homeless Individuals (CABHI), and Grants for the Benefit of Homeless Individuals (GBHI) grantees that touch people in every state and territory. HHRN serves as the TA and training resource for SAMHSA. 


Examples of work included updating, enhancing, and field testing two evidence-based practices KITs focused on people experiencing homelessness—the Permanent Supportive Housing Evidence-Based Practices KIT and the Integrated Treatment for Co-occurring Disorders Evidence-Based Practices KIT. In addition, HHRN has conducted multifaceted, interagency policy academies on chronic homelessness in collaboration with other federal agencies, such as a policy academy on youth homelessness and a policy academy on outreach and engagement to people experiencing unsheltered homelessness.  
 

Related resources and publications: 

Technical Assistance and Training on Women and Families Impacted by Substance Use and Mental Health Disorders (also known as: Women, Children, and Families)

The WCF project supported SAMHSA’s advancement of state-of-the-art knowledge around substance use and mental health needs of women and families through supporting leaders, workforce development efforts, product development, and expert consultation. The project utilized a multipronged approach to increase the field’s capability for meeting the needs of women, adolescent girls, and families across the nation, which included working with policy makers, providers, and leaders committed to improving women’s services throughout the nation.

AHP also provided expert consultation on gender-responsive prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery support services for adolescent girls, pregnant women, and families with children.

AHP provided training and technical assistance through the WCF project from 2008 to 2018. AHP provided subject matter expertise and consultation to SAMHSA, NASADAD, states and community groups on effective interventions, treatment and recovery support for women and families. 

 
Key project components included: 

  • National conferences
  • Webinars, trainings, and online courses
  • Research; internal and external reports
  • Expert panels
  • Support for the National Association of State Alcohol/Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD)/Women’s Services Network 

Technical Assistance to the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) Office of the Director

Over several contracts, AHP has conducted studies, provided analysis and technical advice, written papers and Reports to Congress, and reviewed CMHS business operations. In addition, AHP writers are the principal speech and blog writers for the CMHS Office of the Director. Speeches and blogs communicate SAMHSA’s vision, mission, and priorities as they relate to the development of a person-centered, recovery-focused, evidence-based, and quality-driven system of behavioral health care. Speeches are prepared for national meetings and conventions, state and community organizations, national and international policymaking groups, and congressional committees. 
 
AHP’s accomplishments in support of the CMHS Office of the Director are both broad and deep. For example, AHP:
 
  • Wrote Reports to Congress on borderline personality disorder and certified community behavioral health clinics;
  • Provided insight into the evolving research and policy surrounding the social determinants of mental health;
  • Helped assess the evidence base for the effectiveness of selected behavioral health treatments;
  • Examined states’ priorities vis-a-vis health reform;
  • Reviewed crisis support programs for people with behavioral health conditions;
  • Examined employment of individuals with behavioral health disorders who have criminal justice involvement;
  • Conducted an examination of patient activation for behavioral health;
  • Developed CMHS program profiles;
  • Helped develop materials related to the prevention of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders;
  • Examined the relationship of maternal health and child behavioral health outcomes; and
  • Analyzed the extent to which the landmark Supreme Court decision in Olmstead v. L.C. is working for Americans with disabilities, including those with mental and substance use disorders.
     
Related resources and publications:
 

The Behavioral Health and HIV/AIDS Technical Assistance Center (BH-HIVTAC)

Through onsite and innovative virtual technical assistance (TA), BH-HIVTAC provided high-quality services to foster an understanding of the people it serves and support development of integrated services that are culturally and linguistically appropriate for these priority populations and their communities. The goal of this TA and training was to:
 
  • Increase integration of behavioral health prevention and treatment services, including HIV and viral hepatitis, and strengthen linkages to primary health care; and
  • Increase capacity for local behavioral health provider networks to develop and expand their substance use prevention and treatment services, particularly those integrating HIV and viral hepatitis prevention services and linkages to primary health care.
The BH-HIVTAC contract provided 178 site visits, 65 webinars, and engaged 47 subject matter experts (SMEs) for 450 grantees over a four-year period. Site visits took place in 24 states/territories.
 
Among the major accomplishments of this project, AHP implemented three 2-day virtual conferences for grantees: The 2018 CSAT grantee virtual conference had more than 350 attendees, plenary and key note sessions, three tracks (including an evaluation track), and a virtual poster session with presentations by 10 grantees; more than 600 people attended a joint 2016 CSAP/CSAT virtual conference, which had plenary and keynote sessions, three tracks; and a 2015 CSAP grantees conference, which had plenaries, concurrent sessions, and two grantee panels, with a total of 300 attendees.

In addition to highly interactive webinars and intensive onsite training and technical assistance, other activities in this initiative included small virtual learning networks designed to strengthen and support grantee effectiveness, as well as the development of regional grantee networks to promote grantee-to-grantee connections to build local grantee capacity.

AHP was contracted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) on this national technical assistance and training center, which provided services to Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) and Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) grantees funded through the Minority AIDS Initiative (MAI).

Uniform Data Systems for Health Centers

AHP, in partnership with John Snow, Inc. (JSI), supports the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC) in the continual development and improvement of processes, documentation, and technical assistance supporting the annual collection of BPHC and BHPr (Bureau of Health Professionals) Uniform Data System (UDS) program performance data from grantees.

The UDS is a core set of information used for reviewing the operation and performance of the approximately 1,300 health centers (Section 330 Federally-qualified Health Centers [FQHCs]), FQHC Look-Alikes (LALs) and Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW) Primary Care Clinics) nationwide, which tracks information about patient demographics, services provided, staffing, clinical indicators, utilization rates, and financial measures.

Project goals include ensuring the reliability and validity of UDS data by providing training, technical support and UDS reviewer expertise; collaborating with HRSA Electronic Handbook (EHB) system developers to enhance reporting tools and develop various standardized reports; and conducting analyses and developing reports useful to health centers (for program management and performance improvement), project officers (for monitoring and technical assistance), and to HRSA for analyzing the individual and collective impact of health centers in providing primary health care services to the nation’s underserved populations.

Related resources and publications:

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